November 8, 2010

There's a Fungus Among Us

Will she ever get a break? Hadley wages an ongoing battle with otitis externa. She gets swimmer's ear just from taking a shower. (I exaggerate...but that's what it seems.) She dries her ears carefully after baths and showers, typically taken at night so she can leave her aids out and go straight to bed. Her ears are cleaned regularly by her ENT to avoid wax buildup (that can trap moisture in the ear canal). We've done vinegar solutions (approved by her ENT) as a preventative measure.

Regardless, Hadley is now experiencing her fourth or fifth fungal infection of the year. (I'm placing my money on last week's humidity as the most recent cause). She complained of the familiar aches, itchiness and swelling in one ear, and was seen by her pediatrician a few days ago, confirming what we suspected. She's been using ear drops ever since, forgoing the aid in that ear, and feeling better. Last night, she felt it starting in her other ear and woke up feeling worse.

Hadley's never had both ears affected at the same time, so being without both aids is a new twist. I'm readying my fingers to call the ENT as soon as the office opens to get her on today's schedule. While I know that one ear is on the mend and the other soon will be, I'm beyond frustrated that this continues to occur. By contrast, Hadley's a trouper. Not only is she enduring the pain and discomfort, but she hasn't complained about missing activities or going without her hearing aids. (It helped that she just happened to learn about a cyber friend's son and his frustrating obstacles with his cochlear implants. She's old enough to understand the different layers of challenges all HOH kids face.) Her only comment so far has been, "Isn't it kind of funny how it started in one ear and went into the other? It's like the infection is playing hopscotch!" Oh, and to ask for hot chocolate at breakfast. She knows how to work the system!

Hopefully, we're an hour away from having a scheduled ENT appointment and just a day away from getting Hadley back on track. An extra special thank you will be given to the nurse who can find an appointment that doesn't conflict with preschool pick up or today's dentist appointment, and happens when it's not sleeting outside. If we can't get a permanent cure for fungus, can't we at least get convenience??

UPDATE: This is why families need to work so hard to find great professionals to help their kids. I called the ENT office just as it opened this morning. My wait--even on a Monday morning-- was less than one minute to talk to the front office. I explained the situation to the receptionist, got transferred immediately back to a nurse, and received an appointment for later this morning, with Hadley's actual ENT. We're on our way!

1 comment:

  1. Great new picture of Hadley! Sorry to hear about her fungal infections. Are open-fit design hearing aids an option for her? My grandmother has a moderate to severe hearing loss and wears open-fit aids - her audi told me/her recently that some open-fit aids can now accommodate severe losses. Anyway, if your audi thinks an open-fit design could work with her new Naidas, it might be a way to help prevent the swimmer's ear - her ear canal will be able to breathe more with the open-fit design.

    Regardless, hope her ears are better soon!